On the Car Crash Traffic Accident Scene: Rescue Team of Firefighters Pull Female Victim out of Rollover Vehicle, They Use Stretchers Carefully, Hand Her Over to Paramedics who Perform First Aid

Car Accidents and Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

February 5, 2024
By Rhine Law Firm, P.C.

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, negligent parties and their insurance companies may use your pre-existing condition to deny or minimize your damages award. Insurance companies may do this by arguing that you failed to take proper care of yourself or that your pain stems from your condition and not the accident. However, it’s important to remember that despite what an insurance adjustor may assert, having a pre-existing medical issue does not stop you from recovering compensation.

At Rhine Law Firm, we have over 30 years of experience advocating for our clients rights in personal injury cases. We are well-versed in insurance companies’ strategies and tactics to deny legitimate claims, including those of pre-existing conditions. We are determined to provide our clients with experienced, intelligent representation that gets real results. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Two Things to Know about Pre-Existing Injuries

The best and most effective way to present your personal injury claim is to offer well-documented evidence of your physical condition both before and after the car accident. Further, under the common law doctrine sometimes called “Eggshell Skull,” a defendant can be held liable for damages even if you (the plaintiff) have a pre-existing condition.

1. Common Pre-existing Injuries

Researchers have reported that one-third of people 40-59 years have moderate to severe degenerative disc disease, and more than half have moderate to severe spinal osteoarthritis. If you were diagnosed with this before the accident, a car accident could worsen the pain and create other limitations. However, the insurance company could argue that your arthritis is responsible for your pain, not the car accident. Other common pre-existing injuries or medical conditions that can be worsened by a car accident include fibromyalgia, hernias, heart conditions, and previously broken bones.

2. You Could Face Difficulty Proving Causation

The insurance company may argue that there is no clear link between the car accident and your pre-existing condition. They may claim you would have had the same symptoms and limitations even if the crash hadn’t occurred. This can make it challenging to prove that the crash aggravated your pre-existing injury or medical condition. However, an experienced team of attorneys can get the medical experts on board to prove causation.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Here are some ways our team at Rhine Law could make a difference in your case:

Gathering Medical Evidence.

One of the most critical aspects of a car accident case is proving that the accident worsened your pre-existing injury. For example, trauma can worsen degenerative disc disease, and the victim could experience worsening pain and less mobility. We work with your healthcare providers and other medical experts to gather evidence to support this. An insurance adjustor might say otherwise, but only a licensed medical professional can determine this.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies.

Insurance companies are known for minimizing or denying pre-existing conditions in evaluating claims. Our experienced car accident lawyers know how to negotiate with large insurance companies. This does not always stop them from using your pre-existing conditions  to devalue your case, but it makes their efforts less effective.

Seeking Fair Compensation.

As noted above, pre-existing medical conditions do not prevent you from seeking fair and reasonable compensation after a crash. When negotiating a settlement or presenting your case in court, we consider your economic and non-economic losses. Examples include pain and suffering, medical costs, and property damage.

Contact Rhine Law Firm for a Free Consultation

If you or your loved one has a pre-existing condition, our personal injury attorneys can help protect your legal rights after an accident. We cannot guarantee results, but have a strong record of winning cases against insurance companies and negligent parties. Schedule a consultation today. Since we work on a contingency basis, you pay no legal fees unless we win.

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